‘Jack Reacher’ Director Christopher McQuarrie Assigned to ‘Ice Station Zebra’ Remake

Bryan Enk
Movie Talk

"Ice Station Zebra": Remember the Name -- Your Life May Depend On It!

So read the tagline to "Ice Station Zebra," the 1968 espionage thriller that definitely put the "cold" in the Cold War with its icy Arctic setting. Now, "Jack Reacher" writer/director Christopher McQuarrie will tell the tale to 21st century audiences as he's set to adapt and direct the remake, according to Heat Vision.

The original film stars Rock Hudson as Commander James Ferraday, captain of the U.S. nuclear attack submarine USS Tigerfish, who's ordered to rescue the personnel of Drift Ice Station Zebra, a British scientific weather station threatened by a moving ice pack. The mission is just a cover for the real, highly classified assignment: retrieve a bunch of photographs that reveal the location of several U.S. missile silos before the Russkies get their hands on them.

"Ice Station Zebra," which also stars Jim Brown, Ernest Borgnine and Patrick McGoohan, proved to be a decent-sized hit, even though Roger Ebert described the film as "so flat and conventional that its three moments of interest are an embarrassment." The film is also an admitted guilty pleasure of genre director John Carpenter.

The remake is being set up at Warner Bros., and there's currently no word as to whether this gig may interfere with Christopher McQuarrie's rumored involvement with "Mission: Impossible 5," which was given the official greenlight yesterday. One thing's for sure: if producers Tom Cruise and J.J. Abrams want McQuarrie for "M:I-5," they'll probably get him, which means "Ice Station Zebra" may have to wait until Ethan Hunt has completed his latest assignment.

"M:I-5" possibilities aside, "Ice Station Zebra" will make for McQuarrie's third feature directorial effort, following "The Way of the Gun" (2000) and last year's "Jack Reacher." His writing credits include "Valkyrie," "The Usual Suspects," "Jack the Giant Slayer" and this summer's "The Wolverine," opening July 26.